The stunning transformation of Shannon Beador

Anyone who is familiar with Bravo's Real Housewives series is probably also familiar with Shannon Beador. The reality star, who is a cast member on The Real Housewives of Orange County, has become known for her honesty about everything from her health to her eating habits to her family. Beador joined the cast during the show's ninth season, and since then, fans have fallen in love with her holistic way of living and the way she always sticks up for herself and for her family. 

Since Beador made it onto the show, she's gone through a tremendous amount of changes, both in her personal life and her physical appearance. Even through the tough times, tough, Beador has always remained true to herself, which is another reason why fans love her. It's been quite the journey so far, and it's interesting to look back on what made Beador who she is today. 

A privileged childhood

Beador is a truly great fit for The Real Housewives of Orange County: she grew up in Southern California and hasn't lived anywhere else. With this in mind, it's easy to assume her family was well-off. As it turns out, that appears to be true. In one episode of Real Housewives, Beador and her ex-husband, David, got in a heated discussion about her "silver spoon upbringing." After Beador told a story about trying to get gas when she had first started driving as a teenager, David said, "That's what happens when you don't take the silver spoon out of your mouth."

His comment led to Beador trying to defend herself by talking about the chores she had to do. She ended up admitting that she did grow up "privileged," but she still learned how to work on her own. Beador also refused to apologize for her "affluent" lifestyle, saying it was something she's always appreciated and felt grateful for. 

Growing up in Southern California

In one blog post for Bravo, Beador writes that she grew up in Rancho Santa Fe, which is where she went to high school. She has also spoken about how she went to the University of South Carolina for college, and has been spotted at several USC football games throughout the years. She moved to Orange County after she graduated. 

While Beador hasn't spoken extensively about her childhood, there have been some moments where you can pick up on what it was like. In one series of photos for Bravo, there are two pictures of Beador riding a horse when she was a kid and when she looked to be about a teenager. Another photo shows a very young Shannon Beador fishing, and another one features her as a young adult, dressed in a Def Leopard shirt to go out with friends and looking quite different than she does today.

A "healthy balance" of organic, non-toxic, restaurants and hair dye

Since the beginning of her career on Real Housewives, Shannon Beador has been known as the cast member who lived a sort of, well, interesting lifestyle. She was always extremely concerned about toxins and lived as organically as possible. In her first blog post for Bravo, Beador admitted that her lifestyle is different than many others, explaining that it really began when she became a mother. She explained: "I wanted to limit toxic chemicals my children would be ingesting."

Despite her dedication to eating organic and keeping chemicals to a minimum, Beador has insisted she never took it over the top and always knew how to maintain a balance. She admitted to doing things like going out to dinner, skipping organic meals, and getting her hair colored sometimes, which she said she's fine with because "it's all about creating a healthy balance." 

A cheating husband

After many rumors about trouble in their marriage, Beador admitted that David had had an affair. During the premiere of the tenth season of Real Housewives in 2015, Beador revealed that she had caught David whispering to someone on the phone and saw hotel receipts before confronting him about what was going on. David admitted to the affair, but even so, Beador was committed to making things right, saying, "I will do whatever it takes to keep my family together."

In a Watch What Happens Live special, David admitted that he had been in love with the other woman. Beador talked about how she had spoken to the other woman on the phone and begged her to back off. She added, "Sometimes, I'll be honest with you, there are times when I say to him, 'I wish you didn't come back after those two weeks.'" Despite the discussion, it seemed like Beador and David were doing better.

Getting a divorce after 17 years

That happiness didn't last forever, unfortunately. In October 2017, People reported that Shannon and David Beador were separating after 17 years of marriage. In a statement to the outlet, Shannon wrote, "I felt alone in my marriage. You can do what you can to keep your family together, but you have to have willing parties. You need two people to make a marriage work, and that just wasn't happening in our relationship." 

During a Watch What Happens Live special, Shannon revealed that David was the one who wanted to end things, not her. She said they took a trip to Hawaii to work on things, but he left early, and when she came home, he said it was over. Shannon said, "I said to David, when he told me it was over, 'What happened? We had a couple of amazing years.' And he goes, 'We had a couple good months.' It was just a knife in the heart."

Her 40 pound weight gain

The biggest change in Shannon Beador's life, aside from her relationship, has been her physical appearance. In 2017, Beador opened up about her weight gain in a personal Instagram post, saying, "Yes, I have gained weight. A lot of weight. About 40 pounds to be exact. I have not had plastic surgery or fillers, it's just plain and simple weight gain." She added that anyone who left rude comments would be blocked. 

During the Season 12 premiere of Real Housewives, Beador said part of her weight gain had been from the stress of David's affair. She admitted, "My weight gain has affected me and how I feel about myself. I'm embarrassed of my body." In another episode of the show, when speaking to her mom about her weight gain, she said she knows David is "disgusted" by the situation, and that since she "let herself go," he had been backing away from her more and more. 

Feeling stronger after the separation, even amidst rumors

When Beador first opened up about the demise of her marriage, it was clear that she was completely heartbroken and devastated. Since then, though, she has started to move on and make positive changes. In a 2018 interview with People, about a year after their split, Beador talked about how she had learned a lot. She said, "I've gotten stronger, deep down," and talked about how she had gone through a period of self-reflection where she tried to figure out what kind of person she wanted to be, and what changes she would need to make to get there.

Beador also said that she ultimately feels lucky for everything in her life, despite the bad times. She said, "There are so many people out there who go through so much worse times than me. I've got it good." She also talked about how important it is to her to stay honest and open with her fans, even through the judgements and criticisms she gets from many, saying other strong women have inspired her. 

She lost over 25 pounds

Fans watched when Beador gained 40 pounds, and months later, they watched when she lost the weight — and they cheered her on every step of the way. In an interview with Us Weekly, Beador discussed her weight loss journey, saying that she was exercising every day for 30 minutes and trying to eat better. She added that while she still wasn't where she wanted to be, she was making progress, saying, "I'm getting there, you know?"

In an interview with Bravo, Beador said her weight had been a "roller coaster," saying that she's been totally committed to continuing to lose the weight. She also said that although she doesn't love exercise, she found that she loved to walk every day, because she's forced to go back home even when she's tired. She also said she makes and drinks a fruit and veggie packed protein shake after every walk to replenish her body. 

She released a low-cal meal delivery service

Shannon Beador's weight loss led to more than just a positive attitude: it also allowed her to start a new business of her own. In the spring of 2018, Shannon debuted a line of cooked, ready-to-eat meals on QVC called Real for Real Cuisine. The line features some of Beador's favorite recipes that can be delivered within two days, then reheated in the oven or a microwave. In an interview with People, she said, "we are only using the freshest ingredients and that's really important to me." The line features veggie burgers, lobster cakes, and other seafood-based meals. 

The reality star also credited her line partly to the end of her marriage to David. She explained that she wanted to create an "easy, healthy option" for single moms to put together quickly for their families, even after super busy days. With the new line, it's pretty clear that Beador was making the most of her situation. 

She's opening a new restaurant

Beador continued to transform her career by adding one more thing to her resume: restaurant owner. When speaking to Bravo in October 2018, Beador talked about wanting to open up a restaurant based on her Real for Real Cuisine line called Real for Real Kitchen. She said, "I'm not looking for the fancy restaurant that a lot of other people have — or [a scene where people go to be seen and] go hang out." Instead, she wants to open a "very small, fast-cash restaurant with mostly delivery." 

During an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Beador said she was just looking for the right location, along with some financial backing. She said, "Well, at this point, my husband is not financing the restaurant anymore. So we're ready to go, the menu is set, so I'm looking for investors right now. But I'm close." It seems like a project she's excited about. 

She's dating someone new

In 2018, Beador made another major change to her life when she started dating someone new. During the summer of 2018, E! News reported that Beador was dating Scot Matteson, and that they were getting pretty serious together. Matteson is a licensed State of California Broker and a real estate developer, and he also grew up in Southern California. The two were supposedly set up through a friend and hit it off immediately. They even took a trip to New York City together, which Shannon documented on her Instagram.

Beador's co-star, Kelly Dodd, confirmed the relationship to Us Weekly, saying that she's good friends with Matteson's ex-wife, and that Matteson is "really nice." She added that Beador and Matteson "have things in common. They're both same age. They like to travel." Dodd also assured the outlet that there was no awkwardness about Matteson's ex-wife, saying she wants her ex to move on and be happy. 

Her ex-husband claims she has a drinking problem

After months of news that Shannon Beador was getting her life together and learning how to be more positive, it seemed like everything was going great for her. But in December 2018, The Blast acquired court documents that showed that her ex David was seeking an order to prevent Beador from drinking alcohol around their kids. In the documents, David claims that Beador "self-medicates" with alcohol, saying he doesn't want that behavior around the children. He said, "I requested Mrs. Beador agree to not drinking or being drunk in front of the children and the request was denied and in fact disputed that she even stated she 'self-medicates' even though the television clip of her stating it is currently on the Bravo (NBCU) website and was included and quoted on several media articles."

In March of 2018, Us Weekly acquired court documents stating that David had requested joint legal custody so that he could have 50 percent physical custody of their three children. He claimed that Beador was fostering an unhealthy relationship between the kids and their father, saying sometimes his children refused to see him at all.